This activity (Role Play: Conduct Online Banking) arose from a teacher asking us if we had an online banking simulation that she could use with her class (Please keep those requests coming; we love doing research like this!). She was looking to go beyond the traditional “balance the checkbook” activity. We stumbled across an online simulator (from the UK) that would give students the opportunity to manage an online checking account.
After familiarizing the students with the simulation tool, they get an opportunity to enter various transactions (cable bill, utility bill, credit card payment) and see how it impacts their balances. Spoiler alert: the activity is set up so that students have bills that exceed the balance in their checking account so they have to learn how to handle the situation in real-time. The activity also introduces the concept of auto-pay for expenses such as car payments and rent. The activity concludes by asking students if they have any additional questions about online banking.